Antarctic ice shelf cracking up

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A piece of Antarctica’s largest ice shelf continues to crack up and could break away soon. Over the past several weeks, a rift in the Larsen C ice shelf has been growing at an accelerating rate. This split could lead to an iceberg the size of Delaware breaking off into the sea.

Why is the breakup of this ice shelf important? This large ice shelf acts like a cork that keeps glaciers from running into the sea. A loss in the integrity of this ice shelf could accelerate the decay of more ice upstream.


In the past few months the crack has grown 17 miles in length and only has about 12 miles of attachment to the main ice shelf.